Friday, December 30, 2005

A Brief Hello....

Hello and Happy New Year!! (Okay, so it's a little early for that greeting, but I don't know when I'll be online again before school starts; I figured I may as well share it now.) Anyway, I drove back from Mom and Dad's (homehome) yesterday, I'm running errands and doing random stuff today, and I'm catching a plane to New Orleans tomorrow. Busy, busy....

The holiday break has been very nice so far. I got to spend some time at homehome with most of the family and I got to spend some time with just Mom and Dad too. I didn't get much schoolwork done over break (surprise, surprise), but I did manage to get a few Christmas presents finished. (I knitted a few stocking hats and a few scarves this year.) I got quite a bit of rest over the break and--save a sore back and a trip to the chiropractor after Christmas--had a generally wonderful break.

Jimmy's currently in New Orleans (putting new roofs on houses), so I'm going to go see him over New Years. We'll get to celebrate in the city....

Sunday, December 18, 2005

"So long, farewell...

...auf wiedersehn, good night." (Oh, come on, sing know the rest!!)

This is probably my last blog for a while as I'm getting packed up and ready to go homehome for Christmas. I think I'm ready for a few weeks of the peace and joy that comes with being deprived of computers and technology. I had hoped to leave a few days ago, but some snowy weather and a pesky cough and cold have delayed my departure a bit. Hopefully I'll be able to get homehome tomorrow.

I could ramble on about the events of the past several days, but I think I'd rather just wish everyone a Merry Christmas instead....

Thursday, December 15, 2005


I finished my papers and gave a presentation on Tuesday, and I turned in grades today...which means that I am officially FINISHED for the semester, WOOHOO!!!

I've been trying to catch up on things during the past few days. Everything tends to get neglected during the last couple of weeks during the semester, so it's time to recuperate from the end of the semester. I've been eating and sleeping on a somewhat regular schedule, my apartment is looking somewhat cleaner than it has in a while, and my car went in for an oil change and general check-up this afternoon. I did some of my Christmas shopping yesterday, so I slept in late this morning to recuperate from shopping. (In case you didn't know, I don't like shopping much....) Anyway, now I'm starting to get things ready to go homehome (homehome is where Mom and Dad live) for the break; I haven't made any definite plans yet, but I think I might leave on Saturday....

Monday, December 12, 2005

Don't Walk...Yet.

Another crosswalk. This is a picture somebody took on our trip to Ireland this past summer. I think they painted on the streets just to help the tourists.

Don't Walk....

I cross the street at the crosswalk every day on my way to school. When are they going to make the one at my corner like this?

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Writing (Again)

Back in the office to work on another paper. Pages remaining in the semester = 10. This one's due on Tuesday, but I would like to have it finished by tomorrow afternoon. (I'm meeting with one of my classmates tomorrow afternoon to work on a presentation that's over our paper topics, so it would be helpful to have the paper finished by then.) Anyway, back to writing....

Friday, December 09, 2005

Christmas Parties and Papers

Pages remaining = 10. I finished my British Romantics paper and turned it in this morning. Only one paper left, and that one's due on Tuesday (along with a presentation covering the same topic). I think I'm going to be lazy for most of the rest of the day.

Our department Christmas Party was at noon today. We had a nice little lunch and visited for a while. The Christmas Party at my church is tonight. There will be a supper and gift exchange and all sorts of other fun stuff. I might go out and do some Christmas shopping this afternoon. I don't particularly like shopping and Christmas shopping's even worse then normal because of the crowds, but I might go out anyway; I know I have a few rolls of film that I need to take in for developing.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Still Writing.

I have 15-20 pages due tomorrow morning, so today's a writing day (as was yesterday, and the day before). At this point I have 14 actual pages written, but I'm only happy with about 6 of those. I need to do more thinking, writing, and revising. It will probably be a very long night....

Wednesday, December 07, 2005


It's that time of the semester again...the time when papers all come due. My 'pages remaining' count is down to about 20 now. I'm making progress, but not as quickly as I would like. I managed to finish all of my grading for the semester, now it's simply writing (and writing, and writing). Anyways, back to my writing....

Monday, December 05, 2005

Last Day of Classes

Returning to the computer after a relatively long weekend...or at least what felt like a relatively long weekend....

Friday was a lot of fun. I spent the afternoon reading books and cleaning house (which is a wonderful method of productive procrastination). Janet came through town in the evening and took Jimmy and I out for supper. We went to a little British place (British in atmosphere, not necessarily cuisine) that's tucked away in a little corner in the middle of town. After supper we went back to my apartment and played some Scrabble and Trivial Pursuit. (It was nice to play Scrabble with a mediator present; Jimmy and I tend to argue when we play Scrabble with just the two of us. Janet won the game too; she uses big words.)

Saturday was a rather fuzzy and overcast day. I did homework, but that's really about all. Jimmy and I went to a theatre production in the evening: The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde. I'd seen the play before, but this production was still quite good. (Jimmy seemed to enjoy the show too. He certainly liked it better than the opera.)

And Sunday was spent reading books and grading papers. I haven't finished all the reading that I need to do for my projects, but I did manage to finish grading all of the major projects that my students produced this semester. I still have a stack of shorter things to grade, but all the big things are graded.

So now today is Monday...and the last day of classes for the semester. I met with my students this morning for our last set of presentations, and I returned all of the papers that I graded yesterday. Now I need to finish the last of the grading and get started writing all of my papers....

Thursday, December 01, 2005

A Commentary on Creativity

Okay, I'm a teacher and a student. At this time in the semester, I'm both writing and grading papers. I encourage my students to be creative and original in their work, but at the same time I am forced to place limits on their creativity. (I'm under a certain departmental obligation to have my students write certain types of papers and produce a certain number of pages during the course of a semester.) I want my students to have freedom with their thoughts and writing, but at the same time I also realize that I will eventually be grading their work. Creativity gets rewarded, but creativity must also operate within certain limitations. Similarly, I struggle to find the balance between creativity and academic accessibility within my own writing. I can produce scholarly work on John Wayne or The Matrix, but that type of work typically isn't seen as acceptable in my discourse community (it isn't 'academic' enough). Thus we're stuck...we're encouraged to be original, to try new things, to think outside of that awful metaphorical box, but then we are punished--or at least not rewarded--when we're finally able to come up with something new and fun and original.